Friday, March 24, 2006

And the People, Recovering Their True Sight

At the end of a very interesting week during which we saw the President stand in front of colossal blue plastic panels boasting of his "Plan for Victory", even as improvised bombs continued to explode and further destroy the already-devastated country he illegally invaded; during which we learned that the Vice President demands his hotel rooms have their television sets pre-tuned to the network that, in an ongoing feat of irony to which it alone remains oblivious, contradicts its own slogan--"Fair and Balanced"--by broadcasting only that which the Administration approves; during which conservative, Oooh-look-at-my-Christian Values "writer" Ben Domenech was exposed as the thieving, talentless plagiarist he is, I thought it would be nice to wind things up with the inspiring thoughts of a former American President, one who was not without flaws or sins, but whose words carved some of the most exqusite contours of what would become the sculpture-in-progress that is our democracy:

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt. If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

Thomas Jefferson, in a letter, 1798


(Hat tip to Queen Mum II for the excerpt from President Jefferson's letter)

3 comments:

  1. And there is the perspective of genius. Jefferson was one of the best, although not as practical as Washington. TJ sought a comprehensive theoretical solution to slavery; GW simply freed his own at his wife's death.

    The quote is an excellent reminder that things change.

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  2. Stephen Benson3/24/2006 6:35 PM

    from my main man teddy roosevelt, a real damn republican (his secretary of state was john hay who was lincoln's private secretary)

    "This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country."
    Memphis, TN, October 25, 1905

    "The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

    "Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", 149
    May 7, 1918

    tr never dodged the draft, if he ended up in the guard he would have made life miserable for everyone around him until they shipped him to where the fight was. . .sorta like al gore did in viet nam.

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  3. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

    YES! Thanks for that, Stephen. So true. Free speech is more important now than ever before, I believe. Freedom to criticize, to demand accountability, to demand more.

    You know, we all need to get behind Gore. He is one of very few politicians who have that sort of intellect, passion, and integrity. I long for a real leader, the kind this nation had in days gone by. Another Kennedy, another Lincoln, another Jefferson. *BIG sigh*

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